This week, Linden Lab announced a move to quash casual infringement of marks, rights and copyrights on their Web-based Second Life goods service, Xstreet SL, among a general tightening of the listing rules.
It doesn't come as much of a surprise, really. Linden Lab has, it can be argued, a high level of contributory liability for material on Xstreet SL, compared to any user-based infringement in Second Life itself. Also, goods on Xstreet SL are readily visible to search-engines and lawyers, whereas in-world materials do not generally have that kind of visibility.
There's also more restrictive rules on keyword spam for SEO (Search Engine Optimization), and any services or goods that aren't in Second Life itself.
Sellers on Xstreet SL have been given until 14 September to clean up their acts, or the Lab will take action themselves.
There's just one thing that confuses users about the new branding guidelines, based on the questions that we've been getting. You see, the Lab will take down stuff that they don't think you are permitted to use, but there doesn't actually seem to be any way to indicate to the Lab or others that you're allowed to use it, except by making a note in the description – because nobody intentionally ripping off a brand would do that, right?
Certainly there have been a couple incidents in the past where the Lab has accidentally removed content based on a complaint, and that content had been an official/authorized use.
That aside, generally this seems to be very smart move on the part of the Lab – it isn't as if they have a lot of practical alternatives – though their liability is now increased for any misused content on Xstreet SL that they miss cleaning up.
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